Adobe Stock starts selling AI-generated artwork

enlarge / AI-generated watercolor illustrations, now eligible for inclusion in Adobe Stock.

Benjay Edwards/Ars Technica

On Monday, Adobe announced that its stock photography service Adobe Stock will begin allowing artists to submit AI-generated images for sale, reports Axios. The move comes as Adobe embraces image compositing and comes as the industry grapples with the fast-growing AI art field in the stock art business, including early announcements from Shutterstock and Getty Images.

Submitting AI-generated images to Adobe Stock has some limitations. Artists must own (or have access to) the images, AI-composited work must be submitted as an illustration (even if photorealistic), and must include “Generative AI” in the title.

In addition, each piece of AI artwork must adhere to Adobe’s new Generative AI Content Guidelines, which require artists to license models of any real people realistically depicted in the artwork. Artwork that includes illustrations of people or fictional brands, characters, or properties requires a property release certifying that the artist has all necessary rights to license the content to Adobe Stock.

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Example of AI-generated artwork available on Adobe Stock.
enlarge / Example of AI-generated artwork available on Adobe Stock.

The advent of image compositing tools such as Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, and DALL-E earlier this year opened up a seemingly limitless wellspring of generative art that can emulate common artistic styles in a variety of media, including photography. Each AI tool allows artists to create works based on textual descriptions called cues.

In September, we covered some early examples of artists listing AI work on gallery sites. According to reports, Shutterstock’s initial reaction was to remove some generative art, but later changed direction by partnering with OpenAI to generate AI artwork on the site. In late September, Getty Images banned the use of AI artwork, fearing copyright issues hadn’t been adequately tested in court.

Beyond these legal concerns, AI-generated artwork has proven ethically problematic among artists. Some have criticized the ability of image-synthesis models to reproduce artwork in the style of living artists, especially because AI models have acquired this ability from unauthorized website scraping.

Despite these controversies, Adobe has openly embraced the growing trend of image compositing, and it shows no sign of slowing down.

“I believe our decision to responsibly accept content produced by generative AI will benefit both customers and contributors,” Sarah Casillas, senior director of content for Adobe Stock, said in an emailed statement to Adobe Stock members. “Knowledge of stocks, craftsmanship, taste and imagination are essential to success in a stock market where clients demand quality, and these are attributes our successful contributors can continue to bring to the table – no matter which vehicle they choose.” “

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